Travel - Toronto’s new accessibility opens up Canada secret

Niagara Falls
A few of my girlfriend’s friends have moved to Canada recently and I’d love to surprise her with a trip to Toronto this summer to visit them. I’d want to prepare a list of all the things we could do there and have the total holiday package prepared for her – top attractions and shopping are the main priorities. Any suggestions?

A few of my girlfriend’s friends have moved to Canada recently and I’d love to surprise her with a trip to Toronto this summer to visit them. I’d want to prepare a list of all the things we could do there and have the total holiday package prepared for her – top attractions and shopping are the main priorities. Any suggestions?

With so many people emigrating in recent times, there are lots of us with friends and family abroad so a surprise trip to see them is a wonderful and thoughtful gift. In an exciting move for the airline, Aer Lingus is offering seven direct flights to Toronto a week from April, making the city even more accessible.

Toronto is one of Canada’s best kept secrets. Often overlooked in favour of Montreal, the city has a vibrant art community and is filled with beautiful galleries, cafes, pubs and restaurants. The first port of call for any traveller to Toronto has to be Niagara Falls. A 90-minute drive away, this major tourist attraction is worth the hype. Watching 750,000 gallons of water per second roll off the side of a cliff is absolutely breathtaking. The best way to experience the Falls is to go on the ‘Journey Behind the Falls’, where you put on a plastic poncho and descend 125 feet in a lift through solid rock and look out through a curtain of rapid falling water.

Back in the city, the CN Tower in Toronto held the title of the world’s tallest structure for an impressive 30 years before it was eclipsed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It’s astonishing to look out from the tower over the 50-storey buildings below, dwarfed by this enormous structure. The CN Tower boasts glass floored observation decks, a gift shop and a sky-high rotating restaurant where you can take in the views during a dinner with a difference.

Toronto’s Irish roots are apparent all over the city. Take a walk to Ireland Park where you can see Rowan Gillespie’s moving sculptures that commemorate the arrival of Irish refugees during the famine. A stroll through the park also tells the story of Cabbagetown. Once a slum filled with Irish immigrants who filled their gardens with vegetables, Cabbagetown is now a very popular neighbourhood in the city.

If you and your girlfriend fancy some retail therapy, be sure to visit the exclusive shopping district of Yorkville. This is a place where you have to forget about credit card limits, or do some serious window shopping, depending on your budget! Holt Renfrew is a mecca for shopaholics bursting with designer clothes and accessories. Top celebrities make use of their own private shopping suites in this retail destination.

From theatre shows to driving ranges, markets to concerts, there is a wealth of things to discover in Toronto. Whatever you end up doing, I’m sure your girlfriend will be overjoyed with the trip and you will want to return again and again.

Where to stay:

The Shangri-la Hotel (*****)

Prices start from €280 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time

For the ultimate in 5-star luxury, it has to be the Shangri-la Hotel. With floor to ceiling windows, guests can take in the stunning city views of Canada’s largest metropolis.

The Grand Hotel and Suites (****)

Prices start from €130 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time

The Grand Hotel and Suites Toronto is a delightful hotel in downtown Toronto where guests can enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Ontario from the rooftop terrace. There is also a large fitness facility, indoor poor and steam room.

Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Toronto (***)

Prices start from €85 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time

One of the top hotels in downtown Toronto, the Courtyard by Marriott is located in the city centre, a stone’s throw from The Art Gallery of Ontario and the CN Tower. It is also close to the Bloor-Yorkville shopping district and the subway transit.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!